By Joann Sfar
This is really a children’s book but it was in the adult graphic novel collection, I think because of the way it deals with vampires and death and monsters. But it’s really a kid’s book. It’s a collection of three stories about a little vampire, who lives in a haunted mansion with his mother and a bunch of ghosts and monsters. He gets lonely (despite his red flying dog) and decides to go to school. Only thing is, at night all the other kids aren’t at school. Through a series of notes he makes friends with one of the ‘day kids’ and they have adventures together in the night time. It was cute. I liked it and I would recommend it to horror fans, those dealing with bullies and fans of weird Gothic art.
By Hope Larson
Not sure if this is autobiographical or not, but it’s the story of a French art student on an exchange at an American university. It was very short and gentle, mixing French language with English a little and exploring loneliness and culture. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t blow my mind. I would recommend this for pretentious art students.
To The Heart of the Storm
By Will Eisner
I’m a terrible comics geek. I had never read an Eisner comic before this one. Eisner is basically the father of graphic novels. He wrote The Spirit which is super famous comics-wise and was recently made into a terrible movie. Anyway, my education has begun. I read this account of Will’s early life living as a Jew in New York and Jersey, told in flashback as he heads out in the train to serve in World War 2. It was very moving and sad, the amount of prejudice back then and his father’s struggle to pursue painting but still support the family. There was exploration of how he encouraged Will to pursue art as well and how Will’s relationships with others were shaped by his faith. It was hard going sometimes, lots of nasty, difficult subject matter but very very good. An absorbing read and when I went back to the library I looked for more of his reprinted memoirs. I would recommend this to fans of autobiography, people who like reading about wars and dedicated comics geeks.
Scott Pilgrim vs the Universe
By Bryan Lee O’Malley
The Scott Pilgrim books are being made into a movie! Woop woop. In the mean time you should really read them. It’s a Canadian manga about a 23 year old slacker pursuing true love and trying to make it with his band. It’s fun and silly and cute and at the same time, quite a serious commentary on relationships. I love it to bits. This was the 5th installment and really moved the over all plot forward. As always it left me wanting more…hopefully the movie will do it justice. It’s hard to imagine Michael Cera in the title role, but I think he can probably do it. I would recommend this to you. You should totally go and read the whole Scott Pilgrim series, it’s great fun.
by Alissa Torres
Oh autobiographical graphic novels, how I adore thee. This book is written by Alissa, whose husband died in the attack on the World Trade Centre. She was heavily pregnant at the time. Part biography of her husband, an illegal immigrant, part a document of how difficult it was to get the promised support and financial aid, the story is told in fragments, skipping around various aspects of her post 9/11 life. The disjointedness is jarring when you read it, but having finished it I think it makes it all that more accurate a description of her grief and the turmoil that she experienced. I cried. I felt lucky. I felt like I should appreciate everything that I have. It was awesome. I would recommend this to anyone who is curious.